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ce que je denomme de lalangue

English translation: Couple of points

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15:39 Jul 12, 2008
French to English translations [PRO]
Social Sciences - Psychology / Lacanian psychoanalysis
French term or phrase: ce que je denomme de lalangue
I have to translate a quote from an article by Lacan for which, to my knowledge, there is no existing translation, more's the pity, because Lacanian is not one of my languages! Here is the sentence (please excuse lack of accents, I had the computer "fixed" yesterday and have lost all my settings):
Le "putsch" reussi, Lacan definit ce que doit etre l'enseignement a Vincennes dans la filiation de ce que souhaitait Freud a ses yeux, a savoir l'enseignement de la linguistique, "linguistique - qu'on sait ici etre la majeure... Que la linguistique se donne pour champ ce que je denomme de lalangue pour en supporter l'inconscient, elle y procede d'un purisme qui prend des formes variees, justement d'etre formel".

Particular problems here are "denommer de..." - perhaps he means: ce que je denomme "de lalangue"?
And the syntax of the sentence: "Que la linguistique..."
The quote is from an article called "Peut-etre a Vincennes" published in the first issue of Ornicar?
A quick stab on my part would give something like:
The “putsch” succeeded and Lacan defined the syllabus at Vincennes according to his view of what Freud would have wanted, namely, the teaching of linguistics: “linguistics – which we here know to be the most important thing… Linguistics, applied to the field of what I denote “lalangue” to support its unconscious, must start from a purism which has different forms, precisely because it is formal”

But I am sure the finer points of all this have passed me by...

If there are any Lacanians out there who also speak lay English I would really appreciate your help.

Thanks in advance.
Susan Nicholls
Local time: 03:18
English translation:Couple of points
Explanation:
I am not sure what the problem with the construction is: it looks like a straightforward use of the subjunctive to me.

So far as I am aware (and I try to avoid crazy French pseudo-philosophers like Lacan and Derrida), "lalangue" is customarily translated as "lalangue" in English. So why not "what I call 'lalangue'"?

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Note added at 25 mins (2008-07-12 16:05:10 GMT)
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OK, good point. The original does not make a lot of sense, however you look at it, and therefore does not deserve anything other than a literal translation. The comma splice is deplorable, but apart from that, you can make grammatical sense of it by assuming that "elle" refers to to "lalangue" rather than "la linguistique".

Something like "Linguistics should concern itself [or take as its field] what I call 'lalangue', so as to support its unconscious [aspect]; it arises there...."

But of course, "procéder" can be subject to other interpretations. I have picked on the somewhat archaic theological one, because it comes closest to making sense to my sceptical brain.

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Note added at 26 mins (2008-07-12 16:05:55 GMT)
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Your new suggestion above is fine.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 hrs (2008-07-12 18:45:25 GMT)
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Pleased to be of assistance!
Selected response from:

Richard Benham
France
Local time: 19:18
Grading comment
Thank you for your answer and discussion, you helped me see the wood for the trees with this one
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4is what I have named 'lalangue'xxx::::::::::
3Couple of points
Richard Benham
3is what i call universal/primary language; mother tonguexxxSpeakering


Discussion entries: 5





  

Answers


6 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
is what I have named 'lalangue'


Explanation:
As far as I know there's no exact equivalent for this term, which i know but which is left as such in translations (at least in the EN versions of Lacanian texts I have in my library)

LALANGUE
Dans les années 70, Lacan formule l'idée, qui paraît délirante à beaucoup, d'une mathématisation intégrale de la subjectivité. Topologie, nœuds borroméens et bande de Mœbius sont convoqués pour penser le «parlêtre», autrement dit les liens infinis d'assujettissement de l'être humain avec sa parole singulière, à l'intérieur du code linguistique. Mais, en quelques points de résistance, lalangue échappe à la formalisation. Il y a du «pas-tout». C'est le cas du nom propre, intraduisible, dans une langue étrangère.



xxx::::::::::
Iraq
Local time: 19:18
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thanks, yes, I think it needs to be left. "Named" seems right. I don't suppose you'd have any ideas for how this fits into the sentence as a whole?!

Asker: Or, looking more closely at your "LALANGUE" explanation, could it be: what I name/call "lalangue" in support of its conscious...

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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
is what i call universal/primary language; mother tongue


Explanation:
i am sure it is translated specifically in english, but cannot recall it. maybe pre-language?

Lalangue
In the early 1970s, Lacan turned his attention more and more to the place of jouissance in human sexuality, the field he had discussed with such subtety in the late 1950s with the theoretical tools of desire and the phallus. Whereas language and jouissance had remained distinct in mot of his formulations until now, Lacan argued that there is a side to language which is itself a form of jouissance. If language was traditionally seen as made up of signifiers, each of which was linked to another signifier, he now proposed that there was a signifier without such links... a One, which makes up "lalangue", an amalgam of libido and signifiers.
Language is now shown to have not only effects of meaning and signification, but direct effects of jouissance. These ideas complicated the received notion that the libido and jouissance were different in nature from linguistic elements.
Index
Lacan, Jacques. The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book XX: Encore, On Feminine Sexuality, The Limits of Love and Knowledge 1972-1973. Trans. Bruce Fink. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1998. pp. 44, 84, 101, 106, 132, 138-39, 141-42, 143

Universal language
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A universal language is a hypothetical historical or mythical language said to be spoken and understood by all or most of the world's population. In some conceptions, it may be the primary language of all speakers, or the only existing language; in others, it is a fluent secondary language used for communication between groups speaking different primary languages. Some mythological or religious traditions state that there was once a single universal language among all people, or shared by humans and supernatural beings; this is not supported by historical evidence.
The idea of a universal language is at least as old as the Biblical story of Babel. The biblical story of Babel's fall states that there was once a time of a universal Adamic language (now often associated with the Kabbalah) — and then something happened, the confusion of tongues, analogous to the Fall of Man. In the Judeo-Christian tradition there are various attitudes to regaining the supposed golden age, before Babel; these include optimism, pessimism, and recourse to parody and warnings on hubris, depending on the wished interpretation of the story.
In other traditions, there is less interest in or a general deflection of the question. For example in Islam the Arabic language is the language of the Qur'an, and so universal for Muslims. The written classical Chinese language was and is still read widely but pronounced somewhat differently by readers in different areas of China, in Korea and Japan for centuries; it was a de facto universal literary language for a broad-based culture. In something of the same way Sanskrit in India was a literary language for many for whom it was not a mother tongue.
Comparably, the Latin language (qua Medieval Latin) was in effect a universal language of literati in the Middle Ages, and the language of the Vulgate Bible, in the area of Catholicism which covered most of Western Europe and parts of Northern and Central Europe also.

Lalangue
The motor of the unconscious jouissance is lalangue, also described as babbling or mother tongue. The unconscious is made of lalangue. Lacan writes it as lalangue to show that language always intervenes in the form of lallation or mother tongue and that the unconscious is a `knowing how to do things' with lalangue. The practice of psychoanalysis, which promotes free association, aims to cut through the apparent coherent, complete system of language in order to emphasize the inconsistencies and holes with which the speaking being has to deal. The lalangue of the unconscious, that which blurts out when least expected, provides a jouissance in its very play. Every lalangue is unique to a subject.
Jouis-sens also refers to the super-ego's demand to enjoy, a cruel imperative - enjoy! - that the subject will never be able to satisfy. The super-ego promotes the jouissance that it simultaneously prohibits. The Freudian reference to the super-ego is one of a paradoxical functioning, secretly feeding on the very satisfaction that it commands to be renounced. The severity of the super-ego is therefore a vehicle for jouissance.
In 'La Troisième', presented in Rome in 1974 (Écrits, 1977), Lacan elaborates the third jouissance, jouis-sens, the jouissance of meaning, the jouissance of the unconscious, in reference to its locus in the Borromean knot. He locates the three jouissances in relation to the intersections of the three circles of the knot, the circles of the Real, the Symbolic and the Imaginary. The Borromean knot is a topos in which the logical and clinical dimensions of the three jouissances are linked together: the Other jouissance, that is the jouissance of the body, is located at the intersection of the Real and the Imaginary; phallic jouissance is situated within the common space of the Symbolic and the Real; the jouissance of meaning, jouis-sens, is located at the intersection of the Imaginary and the Symbolic. It is the object a that holds the central, irreducible place between the Real, the Symbolic and the Imaginary.



    Reference: http://nosubject.com/Lalangue
    Reference: http://nosubject.com/Jouissance
xxxSpeakering
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in MacedonianMacedonian, Native in Serbo-CroatSerbo-Croat
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10 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
Couple of points


Explanation:
I am not sure what the problem with the construction is: it looks like a straightforward use of the subjunctive to me.

So far as I am aware (and I try to avoid crazy French pseudo-philosophers like Lacan and Derrida), "lalangue" is customarily translated as "lalangue" in English. So why not "what I call 'lalangue'"?

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 25 mins (2008-07-12 16:05:10 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

OK, good point. The original does not make a lot of sense, however you look at it, and therefore does not deserve anything other than a literal translation. The comma splice is deplorable, but apart from that, you can make grammatical sense of it by assuming that "elle" refers to to "lalangue" rather than "la linguistique".

Something like "Linguistics should concern itself [or take as its field] what I call 'lalangue', so as to support its unconscious [aspect]; it arises there...."

But of course, "procéder" can be subject to other interpretations. I have picked on the somewhat archaic theological one, because it comes closest to making sense to my sceptical brain.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 26 mins (2008-07-12 16:05:55 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Your new suggestion above is fine.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 hrs (2008-07-12 18:45:25 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Pleased to be of assistance!

Richard Benham
France
Local time: 19:18
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Thank you for your answer and discussion, you helped me see the wood for the trees with this one
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thanks, yes it does look like a subjunctive, but I couldn't work out why the next clause was not, in that case, "qu'elle..."

Asker: Your sceptical brain is functioning rather better than my scattered (you should see what I've been wading through to get to this point!), I see now that the "elle" refers to lalangue, not to linguistics which was what the whole paragraph was about. Seems a lot clearer now, many thanks.

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